Proposals for 69-bed care home attacked as ‘too big’ by residents

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Pennyfarthing Homes
Designs for the 69-bed care home proposed by Pennyfarthing Homes for land off Hurn Way in Christchurch

PROPOSALS for a new 69-bed care home in Christchurch have been submitted to council planners.

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New Milton-based Pennyfarthing Homes has applied for permission to build the new facility on land behind Hurn Way, writes Josh Wright of the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It said the home would help address a forecast shortfall in places and “offer the growing older persons population choice in accommodation”.

Proposals have been put together by the developer over the last six years, during which time three previous designs have been put to the planners.

If approved, the latest outline scheme would allow a 69-bed care home over two storeys with 37 parking spaces provided.

“The proposal will present a well thought-out design that is within keeping of the local character in scale and mass,” a statement submitted with the application says.

“The building will be set back within the site and be significantly screened by both the natural woodland planting and existing houses fronting Hurn Way.”

Pennyfarthing Homes held a consultation event exhibiting its plans in October.

But it has already attracted four letters of objection with one describing it as “a monolithic, industrial-sized commercial building that will dwarf surrounding residential homes”.

Alastair McCall, who lives in Hurn Way, said it was an attempt by the developer to play “a tactical planning games to see what it can get away with”.

He added: “The sheer bulk of the proposals would overwhelm the surroundings and neighbouring homes.”

The developer said the home would help meet the “significant requirement” for housing that meets the needs of older people.

“It is anticipated that the over-85s population is expected to increase by 50% in the area between 2018 and 2030,” it said.

The number of people requiring care facilities would also rise significantly with a predicted need for 201 additional care bed spaces in Christchurch up to 2033, the company claimed.

“We believe this proposal will help address this shortfall and offer the growing older persons population choice in accommodation to meet their requirements.”

The application will be considered by BCP Council in the coming weeks.

This article was amended on 12th February 2020 to correct details about the building’s height and location outside a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

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